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Thread: Poorly Bird and Weight Loss

  1. #1
    Jaspa Egg's Cracking... Jaspa's Avatar
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    Poorly Bird and Weight Loss

    Since joining this network last week, Ive had a long, unhappy, week with my unwell cockatial.

    I noticed Jaspa was shaking towards the end of last week and had an appointment last Sat with my avian vet for her third hormone injection but instead he put her on antibiotics as she had a bacterial infection (which she occasionally gets but has never been shaky like ths before). We thought the shaking was because of her generally feeling unwell.

    By Tuesday she was no better with the shaking so I took her to vets in the morning before work and left her there for the day. My vet wasn't there until the next day and the other one was sick so I brought her home again that night. She went back Wed morning and had tests, xray and a blood test as the vet was concerned she had weight loss since Saturday. It was on Wednesday that the nurses saw her shaking even though I had told them on Tuesday this was a problem. The tests were clear but the blood tests didnt come back until today which was a long wait. She stayed overnight two nights with me visiting her both nights.

    Today the vet wondered if she had fibre in her crop and might operate but later on he changed his mind about that. The only thing that might cause that is carpet as I've removed any ropey toys from her cage because of such dangers.

    The blood test is fine although she is a little high in fat so will be careful about not giving her extras now, nor her favourite, millet, but the vet still doesnt know what is causing the shaking and weight loss.

    I have been tense and worried all week and the first night without her was one of the longest of my life particularly because we were still awaiting test results.

    The vet wonders whether she is stressed and lonely in the incubator so let her come home for the weekend but she goes back again for a weigh in on Monday.

    She also went to a bird homestay for the first time two weeks ago for a weekend when I went away with a friend (usually I take her with me when I go to stay with friends but we went to a hotel out of town) so that may have added to her stress along with being unwell.

    I just wanted to share this in the forum. Although its been agony waiting for the results and fearing the worst, my experience was so helped by having an avian vet who cares for the birds as much as I love my bird. And it also shows how quickly you need to get a bird to a vet when symptons develop as she has had to have two lots of antibiotics for her bacterial infection to get her better.

    She is sitting on my shoulder as I write this and contented to be home again.

    Karen and Jaspa

  2. #2
    Resident Vampire Hormonal ellenant's Avatar
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    Re: Poorly Bird and Weight Loss

    What was the hormonal injection for?
    Do you have some more history?
    Age and gender of the bird?
    Former problems?
    Did the vet do a fecal exam and a crop wash?
    Sounds a bit like a crop infection.
    Also could be something in the sinuses.
    We had a king parrot the other day with similar signs, at it turned
    out to be Psittacosis.
    Is the bird tested for Psittacosis?
    If not, DO IT!!!!!!
    My first bird died from it and it was really nasty.
    What antibiotic is the bird on?
    Was the bird checked for any fungal infection like yeast?
    "There must have been a moment, at the beginning, where we could have said- NO. But somehow we missed it." (Samuel Beckett)


    Dear Alex, in memory Axolotls rock!
    Missing you, Waiata...

    Wild NZ Birds! http://www.tailfeathersnetwork.com/c...ad.php?t=57986

  3. #3
    Jaspa Egg's Cracking... Jaspa's Avatar
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    Re: Poorly Bird and Weight Loss

    Quote Originally Posted by ellenant View Post
    What was the hormonal injection for?
    Do you have some more history?
    Age and gender of the bird?
    Former problems?
    Did the vet do a fecal exam and a crop wash?
    Sounds a bit like a crop infection.
    Also could be something in the sinuses.
    We had a king parrot the other day with similar signs, at it turned
    out to be Psittacosis.
    Is the bird tested for Psittacosis?
    If not, DO IT!!!!!!
    My first bird died from it and it was really nasty.
    What antibiotic is the bird on?
    Was the bird checked for any fungal infection like yeast?
    Hi,
    Jaspa's had bacterial infections from early on so is on bottled water and organic cider vinegar to keep her balanced. Shes been good for a year or so and not had to take her to vets. Shes 5 1/2 and female and I also have problems with her with egg laying and she has just had two hormone injections with a third to go as she had two rounds of egg laying and I wanted to give her a rest. Yes vet did a fecal exam (well two) - not sure about a crop wash - what is that? And what is a crop infection and how is that treated? If Jaspa had Psittacosis wouldn't the blood tests show that? She had a Vetscan blood test, CBC blood test, xray and is now on psittavet but had a different antibiotic first and I dont have the name with me as she finished it at the vets. I'll mention Psittacosis to vets on Monday. I don't know about the fungal tests - I imagine they did a thorough check on her. Sorry to hear that Alex died of Psittacosis - thats very very sad. Thanks for your helpful email - it gives some other ideas. Jaspa's certainly perkier tonight and looking far better - I wonder if she was just stressed and it was a time thing for the antibiotics to work.

  4. #4
    Tailfeather di_dee1's Avatar
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    Re: Poorly Bird and Weight Loss

    I have no suggestions or advice. Just wanted to know I am thinking of you both and hope so much that all will be well.

  5. #5
    Part Owl Tailfeather BrandonK's Avatar
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    Re: Poorly Bird and Weight Loss

    Wow, you are doing so much for Jaspa, she is so lucky to have as her mommy!

    Just to answer your question, no the blood tests would not show diseases but can be an indicator or diseases. Notice on your bill the the "blood test" is called a CBC and that stands for Complete Cell Count. All they do is check blood cell levels but that can be an indicator is something else is wrong so it's always good to do a CBC. I believe that the "Vetscan" is just the machine they use to do the blood panel.

    I hope that Jaspa continues to get better. Keep us in the know.
    "Questions open the door to knowledge."

  6. #6
    Resident Vampire Hormonal ellenant's Avatar
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    Re: Poorly Bird and Weight Loss

    Okay...
    so your bird is on Psittavet, that is the medication used against Chlamydia that cause Psittacosis. Brandon is right, you have to do a special test for Psittacosis, a blood
    test wont show.
    It is a very narrow working antibiotic and wont kill "normal" bacteria.

    To work effectively, you have to treat the bird for 50 days with psittavet.
    Continously without a break.
    This is because the Chlamydia living INSIDE white blood cells and they can
    only be killed when the come out of the blood cell when the cell dies.
    The average live time of a monocyte cell is around 50 days, thats
    why you treat for this amount of time.

    The vet scan is the little laboratory machine that shows you blood biochemistry.
    CBC can show you infections and anemia and things like that, depending
    on how the cell levels have changed.

    The treatment with water and vinegar is something you use to help antifungal treatment of
    Megabacteria, which are a yeast and NO bacteria.
    (stupid name, I know... the new name for them is avian gastric yeast)

    So you are treating for 2 diseases here-- has the vet actually tested for them?

    A crop wash is what it sounds like--
    you give water into the crop, suck it out again and see what shows up.
    Yeast and several parasites love to life in the crop and cause infections
    that show with regurgitating and head shacking.
    Has the vet done this?
    In your case it would be a good plan.

    Crop infection can have several causes, most often yeast or parasites
    like Trichomonads. Treatment is for the cause, so antifungal for yeast,
    antiparasitic for parasites. If it is a bacteria, antibiotics.

    Do you have any results on blood test and did you see the X-ray?

    I am happy to hear the bird is better today.
    I hope all turns out well!!!!
    "There must have been a moment, at the beginning, where we could have said- NO. But somehow we missed it." (Samuel Beckett)


    Dear Alex, in memory Axolotls rock!
    Missing you, Waiata...

    Wild NZ Birds! http://www.tailfeathersnetwork.com/c...ad.php?t=57986

  7. #7
    Jaspa Egg's Cracking... Jaspa's Avatar
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    Re: Poorly Bird and Weight Loss

    Thanks Brandon and Ellen for your suggestions and Di for support.

    Jaspa is still shaking slightly today but I have the heater on for her. However, she has been tucking into her Harrisons which is a good sign and is quite active.

    Im so glad I posted my experience on here since you have offered such good suggestions.
    I am not sure if Jaspa was given a Psittacosis test but I will make sure she has one on Monday.
    Presumably they can treat psittacosis if caught early? Must read some more about that.

    Its good to know what a CBC test was for as I didn’t know – thanks Brandon.

    Wish I still had the bottle of the other antibiotic she was on to provide the name but it wasn’t the usual one that’s been mentioned on forums.

    Thanks for the tip about psittavet – I’ll check the vet about that – that’s a long time she’ll be on this.

    She has the water and vinegar as a preventative so I guess by the sounds of it she’s prone to Megabacteria.

    She doesn’t regurgitate but I will check with the vet about the crop wash and ask him to do that Monday too.

    The vet gave me a blood test sheet – most of it doesn’t make sense to be but her fat content was 3+ and the vet said it should be nil. They couldn’t hear any heart murmurs but from the xrays there was a small abnormality around the lungs (I think it should be dark and it wasn’t or something) or heart so they will have to monitor that but it could be because of the fat content perhaps. So gone is the millet, small amount of biscuit, a cornie for breakfast, anything other than harrisons and fruit/veg. Don’t want to kill her with kindness but won’t eat those things in front of her anymore either as she knows them!

    Thanks hugely again, I will keep you posted on Monday night further as its good to know about these things.

    Its great to have you on here Ellen - we are very fortunate.

    PS Brandon I was very saddened to read about Oliver last night – I was reading some old posts while Jaspa was on my shoulder. I hope that your other birds are okay now. Its sad losing pets and it almost makes you want to not get another one so you avoid loss, but then you give in as you realise these birds need a loving home for the time they have with us and they are so special.

  8. #8
    Part Owl Tailfeather BrandonK's Avatar
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    Re: Poorly Bird and Weight Loss

    Karen, thank you for your sentiments. He is sorely missed and my parents are looking for a bird as they had fallen in love with him.
    "Questions open the door to knowledge."

  9. #9
    Jaspa Egg's Cracking... Jaspa's Avatar
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    Re: Poorly Bird and Weight Loss

    Good news.
    Jaspa spent the day at the vets today and they did a crop wash, lab test sampling, faecal exam, gram stain and a psittocisis test. The psittocisis test is negative thank goodness. But because Jaspa has been on Psittavet the vet thinks she has now got a mild yeast problem so she's now taking amphoteracin for 10 days. Her weight was good from the weekend and the vet thinks the shaking is due to a psychological problem because of the wing clip and she is one of 10% of birds that have problems because of the clip. She had it done as a precaution as she was staying at a bird homestay while I went away for 3 days and the birds were housed separately from the house. He said she is probably suffering from low self esteem as the only time she had her wings clipped was as a baby. So no more wing clipping for Jaspa.

    Tiels Gabi (RIP Aug 2011 - 3 yrs) and Jaspa (RIP Sept 2014 - 12 yrs); Tiel Olli (3 yrs)
    Budgies Sam and Zakie - RIP

  10. #10
    Resident Vampire Hormonal ellenant's Avatar
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    Re: Poorly Bird and Weight Loss

    How long were you giving the psittavet before the test?
    The test in NZ is just an elisa test, not the PCR done everywhere else.
    After one week of psittavet, the bird stops shedding the bugs,
    and the test will be negative.
    (the bacteria are still there, but hiding)
    Keep that in mind, the test could be inconclusive.
    You have two choices to be sure--
    either keep giving the psittavet for the full 50 days,
    or stop giving it and do the test again in a few months.

    This problem with the low self esteem also could be part of it,
    especially if the blood test showed no significant changes.
    There is another threat I think in this cockatiel forum
    that describes this.

    Well, I would not dare to hear any heart murmours in a cockatiels heart...
    that would be a challenge for me.

    The X-rays...
    well, with these small birds, if the X-ray is not completely straight,
    there can always be a bronchus or blood vessel obscuring
    it.
    Just be aware that if the bird becomes ill "again",
    there was something happening indeed and it could be Psittacosis
    (or Aspergillosis).

    I hope all is going well and I wish you all the best!

    Keep us posted how it is going!
    "There must have been a moment, at the beginning, where we could have said- NO. But somehow we missed it." (Samuel Beckett)


    Dear Alex, in memory Axolotls rock!
    Missing you, Waiata...

    Wild NZ Birds! http://www.tailfeathersnetwork.com/c...ad.php?t=57986

  11. #11
    Jaspa Egg's Cracking... Jaspa's Avatar
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    Re: Poorly Bird and Weight Loss

    Quote Originally Posted by ellenant View Post
    How long were you giving the psittavet before the test?
    The test in NZ is just an elisa test, not the PCR done everywhere else.
    After one week of psittavet, the bird stops shedding the bugs,
    and the test will be negative.
    (the bacteria are still there, but hiding)
    Keep that in mind, the test could be inconclusive.
    You have two choices to be sure--
    either keep giving the psittavet for the full 50 days,
    or stop giving it and do the test again in a few months.

    This problem with the low self esteem also could be part of it,
    especially if the blood test showed no significant changes.
    There is another threat I think in this cockatiel forum
    that describes this.

    Well, I would not dare to hear any heart murmours in a cockatiels heart...
    that would be a challenge for me.

    The X-rays...
    well, with these small birds, if the X-ray is not completely straight,
    there can always be a bronchus or blood vessel obscuring
    it.
    Just be aware that if the bird becomes ill "again",
    there was something happening indeed and it could be Psittacosis
    (or Aspergillosis).

    I hope all is going well and I wish you all the best!

    Keep us posted how it is going!
    Hi there,

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    She was on the psittavet for three days before having the psittacosis test but the vet said he doesnt think she needs to continue for 50 days, ie she finished it after a week and is now just taking her amphoteracin. So perhaps it was early enough to have the really negative result as it was inside seven days?

    Thanks for your advice - I will see how she goes and maybe have her tested again in a few months for psittacosis. Im getting a new bird later this year so will get them both tested.

    I haven't seen any threads about confidence and self esteem but will look for them.

    Thanks again, you're a godsend on this site - we are very lucky.

    Tiels Gabi (RIP Aug 2011 - 3 yrs) and Jaspa (RIP Sept 2014 - 12 yrs); Tiel Olli (3 yrs)
    Budgies Sam and Zakie - RIP

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